Thunder fires Scott Brooks after seven seasons as head coach

The Oklahoma City Thunder fired head coach Scott Brooks Wednesday after seven seasons with the team. The injury-riddled Thunder failed to make the postseason for the first time since the 2008-09 season. However, Thunder general manager Sam Presti made it clear that the decision was not solely a reflection of this year’s results.
This season was a very difficult one for Brooks due to the fact that his starting lineup was never completely healthy. The reigning MVP Kevin Durant only played 27 games. Durant’s partner in crime Russell Westbrook missed 15 games and Serge Ibaka missed the final 18 games. The Thunder never really had a chance in the “dog- eat-dog” Western Conference.
There is not a doubt in my mind that the firing of Brooks was a last second effort to try to convince Durant to stay in Oklahoma City after next season. There is no way Sam Presti would have let Brooks walk out the door unless he knew Durant was okay with it. Presti is smart enough to not piss off his superstar a year before he becomes a free agent.
Brooks was a decent coach that never really got over the hump in Oklahoma City. He finished his tenure with a .620 winning percentage and five playoff appearances in seven seasons. However the stat that sticks out the most is that the Thunder only made one NBA Finals despite all of their young talent.
The Thunder had Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden for three years. Durant is the reigning MVP and Westbrook and Harden are two of the three most deserving players for the award this year. Brooks had three MVP caliber players for three years and two of them for seven years and they won no rings.
I understand the Thunder made three of the last four Western Conference Finals, but if not winning a ring was a failure for Mike Brown and LeBron James then it has to be a failure for Brooks and Durant.
However, this is not the end for Brooks. He was Coach of the Year only four years ago. He is also a well-respected member of the NBA community. The only current openings for head coaching positions are in Orlando and Denver. These teams are not as sexy to coach due to their lack of star power, but a head coaching position is a head coaching position. Maybe will see Brooks sporting a different shade of blue next season.


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